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Central & South Asia

Scores dead in devastating Nepal floods

Death toll rises to 101 after torrential rains hit Himalayan nation amid fears of cholera outbreak.

Last updated: 18 Aug 2014 14:19
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The floodwaters have even crossed into neighbouring India, submerging hundreds of villages [AFP]

The death toll from landslides and flooding in Nepal has risen to 101 after rescuers found four more bodies, officials have said, as they battled to prevent a cholera outbreak.

Another 126 people are missing after torrential rain last week triggered multiple landslides and flooding, devastating entire villages, stranding thousands and damaging roads across the Himalayan nation's western plains.

As the weather cleared on Sunday after three days of incessant rain, the government deployed more than 3,400 workers and four helicopters to rescue stranded people and deliver emergency supplies, said Jhankanath Dhakal, chief of Nepal's National Emergency Operation Centre.

"We have found three more bodies this morning, bringing the total death toll to 101," Dhakal told AFP news agency on Monday, adding that another body had been recovered overnight.

Worst-hit districts 

In the worst-hit districts of Surkhet, Bardiya and Dang, officials scrambled to provide clean drinking water kits to distraught villagers to avert a possible cholera outbreak.

"We have diagnosed a few cases displaying symptoms of cholera," said Tulashi Prasad Dahal, who is coordinating the health ministry's efforts to prevent an epidemic.

In Surkhet district, which suffered the worst damage with roads still underwater, officials said the workers were struggling to locate 106 people reported missing. Another 20 were reported missing elsewhere.

"The flood has destroyed our water pipes, our roads and cut off our electricity, making it difficult for us to carry out necessary search and rescue operations," district official Jagat Bahadur Basnet told AFP news agency.

The deaths come two weeks after the worst landslide in more than a decade smashed into hamlets in the hilly northeast and killed 156 people.

Meanwhile the swirling floodwaters have even crossed into neighbouring India, submerging farmland and hundreds of villages. At least 84 Indians have died, either from the floodwaters or from torrential rains, authorities said.

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